HAJI SUKARNA is the owner of a gong business that has been around for six generations.The inherited business of the 85 year old man was established in 1482 and it's the oldest gong workshop in West Java.
HAJI SUKARNA is the owner of a gong business that has been around for six generations.The inheritance business of the 85 year old man was established since 1482 and it is the oldest gong workshop in West Java.The workshop is called Gong Home, and it is located in Pacasan Street, West Bogor. They don’t only produce musical instruments, but have also brought up culturally aware generations.
There are 22 craftsmen who are consistently at work in this place. They skillfully smelted materials such as lead and copper with a 200 year old sledgehammer weighing for 7 kilograms. After smelting, they burn it in 400 degrees Celsius temperature. This is not a small occupational hazard.
The sledgehammer could easily fell off and smashes a foot. Otherwise, flames from the fire could easily burn their skin. Nevertheless, not a single body protection is being used to guard their body. In one day, the craftsmen could produce two large gongs. To finish up on one set of gamelan, they need at least one month. “We are still in production even though there is no order,” said Haji Sukarna. “We will store these gongs, just in case a buyer comes.”
Gong orders come from all parts of Indonesia. The price of one set of Gambang
Kromong is set to be Rp 19 million, whereas one set of Degung can reach up to Rp 25
million. Not only local buyers, the gongs are also exported to Japan, Australia, Hawaii,
and the Netherlands. These craftsmen have simple hope: they wish for the musical instruments that they have created today, will always resound in the minds of the younger generations. “Hopefully, the government will continue to
preserve Indonesian gamelan culture,” said Krisna, the son of Haji Sukarna.